3D Laser Scanning Services: Preserving Religious Heritage
Temples, Churches, and Shrines
The Walled City of Lahore Authority, set up in 2012, was tasked by Auqaf, Human Rights and Factions Affairs Departments, to preserve ten shrines, a temple, and eight churches in Punjab. The WCLA is a restoration of the historical monuments of Punjab, which includes Shahi Hammam and Lahar Fort.
The historic temple of Shivala was built and dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva by Sardar Teja Singh. The Shivala Temple was opened after the demand from the local Hindu community by the Evacuee Trust Property Board, which is a board that looks after the minors’ holy places in Pakistan. However, during the Babri mosque attack in 1992, the temple was partially destroyed. Therefore in 2015, the Hindu community requested the repairing of the crumbled building.
According to Saqib, 60% of the work at St Francis Assisi is complete, including sandblasting, documentation, 3D laser scanning services, chemical treatment, roof treatment, surface rendering, and concealment treatment. Therefore, the Punjab government has shown its support for this project by releasing Rs24.88m.
In addition to 3D scanning services, he also highlighted that the only work in progress at St Mary the Virgin Cathedral Church Multan is concealment treatment and woodwork; thus, the government is releasing Rs39.97m for this project.
Sharing details of the amount of work done at Cathedral Church of Resurrection Lahore, the director of the WCLA maintained that 80% of work here is complete, and the aggregate cost of the venture is Rs13.73. He added that all the projects are set to be fully complete by 2022-23, contingent on the remaining work.
A senior journalist Asher John is dealing with matters affecting the minorities has urged the government to introduce laws that will focus on monitoring and protecting the religious minorities despite conversing their places of worship. Activist Adeel Daniel also added that church conservation and maintenance will have a big role in acquiring the legacy.
The WCLA director general Kamran told Bol news that the board had begun refurbishment work at all the required shrines, which include Darbar Baba Fariduddin Ganj Shakar Pakpattan with a budget of Rs32.89m, Madhu Lal Husain shrine, Shah Husain, Hazrat Mian Mir, and Barkat Ali Islamia Hall, all these shrines with a total price of Rs100m.
The director-general has noted that the conversation, laser scan, and preservation work has begun on all these shrines, temples, and churches. It has also been noted that ambassadors of the European Union pay visits to these shrines and churches to give their messages of harmony.
Restoration vs. Preservation
A London-based Dr. Tahir Abbas Naqvi, a frequent visitor to the holy shrines and historic sites, stated that rebuilding these places to look original would, later on, require the removal of extras that have been passed by time. Dr. Tahir suggested the necessary repairs to prevent decay and prevent missing out on the older versions of the places.